At a time where the focus is very much about maintaining our mental wellbeing, it’s important to reflect on what you find helpful.
The latest reports indicate that many of us are finding it hard to deal with the ongoing challenge of continuing uncertainty, stress and anxiety brought about by the pandemic.
Sure, being sufficiently active, trying to eat healthily, getting enough sleep and looking for ways to stay connected are all great, but there’s something else that sometimes gets forgotten.
Making the time to have some fun
I was asked recently what I did for fun. It was hugely embarrassing because after a few awkward moments of silence I knew I couldn’t actually think of anything fun I did for myself. Oh no!
You see I do lots of things that bring joy and pleasure but having fun feels different – to me anyway.
I see fun as doing something that is active.
Fun is something that may bring tears to your eyes as you laugh uncontrollably. It’s like sitting in the front seat of the roller coaster squealing in delight.
Fun is something we feel in the moment.
If it’s something you’ve shared with a friend, you might turn around and say, “Wow, that was so much fun!”. While short-lived, you’ll always remember how that fun activity made you feel good.
Joy, on the other hand, is quieter, longer-lasting and something you can bring about by thinking about special times and people. It’s more abstract and intangible. What brings you joy is unique to you – like the awe and wonderment of being in a beautiful place or listening to music that stirs your soul.
It was time to take up the challenge of finding something fun to do.
Finding something fun to do
I asked my friends for suggestions. What did they do for fun? I have to confess to feeling reassured to discover I wasn’t the only one struggling to identify what fun might look like.
Thank goodness. I had the horrible vision of being the only funless person on the planet. That was too awful to contemplate.
I also wanted to find something fun that I could do with my husband.
We both have hobbies and interests but nothing that we share as a fun activity.
It was time to consult the oracle.
Eureka! Auntie Google found exactly what I was looking for.
An activity we could both do, that wasn’t expensive and looked a whole heap of fun. Yay!
We’ve been going for a few weeks now and despite how shall I say, some initial reticence on the part of my other half initially, we’re both hooked. I’ve even found my hubby practising with some online videos between classes.
We’ve both discovered we’ve got two left feet and we’re more than a little uncoordinated, but hey it’s a whole HEAP of fun and is just the tonic we both need at present to help keep a smile on our face and feel good about life.
What do you do for fun?
What have you found as a powerful boost to support your own mental wellbeing?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book Thriving Mind (Wiley) is now available for purchase.